Porter Airlines began service out of the Island Airport in 2006. Their niche was that the airport was close to the centre of the city making it convenient for the business traveler.
The company has delivered passenger friendly service but they have never enjoyed much success. Even today, eight years after the service was started, Porter has only been able to gain about 60 percent occupancy. This is a private company and not required to publish audited financials so we do not know exactly its financial success, but this we do know.
In 2010 the financials for an IPO revealed that Porter had lost over 40 million dollars. The IPO was withdrawn because of lack of interest according to Robert Deluce. We think that it was withdrawn because investors were scared off by the financial losses. There is no indication that Porter has been more successful since that time and rumours persist that it is in financial difficulties.
An added threat to Porter is that in 2015 a fixed rail link between Union Station and Pearson Airport will be opened making Pearson even more accessible to the Toronto business traveler as the Island .
It is foolish planning to continue to allow Porter to use the valuable resource of the Island Airport in light of their financial difficulties and especially now that the rail link to Pearson is about to open. It would be especially foolish to grant them the right to fly jets out of the Island and to lengthen the runways, threatening our greatest recreational resource and the redevelopment of the Waterfront.
Porter should relocate to Pearson where there are ample facilities and no restrictions on operating jets. Let the company compete with other airlines and end their monopoly of the publically owned, Island Airport.